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Which Bin? A Definitive Guide On How To Recycle All Your Christmas Waste

75,000 tonnes of packaging waste expected for Christmas

Plastic straws, cups, plates and cutlery are just a few of the single-use plastic items set to be banned as part of a new strategy unveiled by Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton.

More on that here

But for those of us looking to fix up and look sharp in terms of sustainability, wires can easily get crossed about recycling bins and what to put in there.

We've compiled a list of each bin and everything that goes into it to make life easier for anyone looking to do good. 

The below items can NOT be placed into the recycling bin:

  • Nappies and Sanitary Products
  • Baby wipes)
  • Food Waste
  • Contaminated Packaging (greasy, dirty or with residue)
  • Garden Cuttings / Soil
  • Polystyrene (EPS)
  • Liquids/Oils
  • Textiles (clothes/shoes and homeware)
  • Furniture
  • Medical Waste
  • Glass/lightbulbs (bring to your local bottle bank)
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment i.e. anything that can contain a battery or a plug
  • Batteries
  • Soft plastic 
  • Some wrapping paper (do the scrunch test to be sure).


  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Letters/post
  • Plain Envelopes (no plastic)
  • Paper
  • Phone Books
  • Catalogues
  • Tissue Boxes
  • Sugar Bags
  • Calendars
  • Diaries
  • Letters
  • Post-Its
  • Computer Paper
  • Used (and washed) Beverage And Juice Cartons
  • Milk Cartons
  • Egg Boxes
  • Holiday Brochures
  • School Copy Books
  • Books
  • Paper Potato Bags


  • Food Boxes
  • Packaging Boxes
  • Cereal Boxes
  • Kitchen Towel Tubes
  • Toilet Roll Tubes

Aluminium & Steel Cans

  • Empty Deodorant Cans (Plastic Lid Separate)
  • Pet Food Cans
  • Food Cans
  • Biscuit Tins
  • Soup Tins (washed)

Plastic Containers (Containers Should Be Empty)

  • Mineral Bottles
  • Water Bottles
  • Mouth Wash Bottles
  • Salad Dressing Bottles
  • Milk Bottles
  • Juice Bottles
  • Cosmetic Bottles
  • Shampoo Bottles
  • Household Cleaning Bottles
  • Laundry Detergent Bottles
  • Window Cleaning Bottles
  • Bathroom Bottles

Main image by Urban Outfitters

For more information visit

READ MORE: The World's Largest Hotel Chain Is Ditching Single-Use Toiletry Bottles By 2020

READ MORE: Can A Reusable Water Bottle Really Make That Much Of A Difference?